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Nutrition for Body Recomposition

Discussion in 'Nutrition & Supplements' started by Foley, Mar 18, 2008.

  1. Foley

    Foley Well-Known Member

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    Nutrition for Body Re-Composition

    Introduction
    For those of you who have the goals of changing your body’s composition, i.e. lean mass to fat mass ratio; will have different dietary requirements than those who trying to maintain a healthy weight for their height (BMI) or those who are trying to minimize the risk of disease.

    Now, the easiest way of changing your physical appearance, is to hire a personal trainer. However, if you do not have the money, or prefer to tackle things yourself, then maybe some of the information below will help you on your way to your goals.

    Back 2 Basics
    OK, just so you know now, changing one’s body composition is 80% diet, with the other 20% coming from weight training, or weight training and cardio combined. Without a solid nutritional plan, you will get half assed results and not be happy. What is meant by that is that you may lose some mass, but it could end up being muscle mass and not fat mass, which is not what we want here.

    One way to estimate how much energy your body requires for basic functioning and maintaining your current weight is to calculate your Total Daily Energy Expenditure through a formula which factors in your age, height, and current body weight.

    Let’s begin by working out our BMR. BMR stands for Basal Metabolic Rate, and is the amount of calories you burn if you just sat in bed all day and did NOTHING.

    To work out your BMR, I would use the Harris Benedict Method, which is:

    Men: BMR = 66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) - (6.8 x age in year)

    Women: BMR = 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) - (4.7 x age in years)

    Or you can use this calculator.

    When you have calculated this number, you then need to multiply that by an activity factor, which would range between 1.2 for sedentary (little or no exercise) and 1.9 for (hard exercise/sports 7 days per week & physical job). Pick an activity level that you intend to follow within the next several weeks. Further adjustments can be made by your caloric intake.

    After multiplying by one of these numbers, you have your “maintenance”, an estimate of your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) or the amount of calories you would need to take in to maintain your current weight.

    Please note that it's impossible to know exactly which number to use as the correct multiplier for your activity level, so you have to guess. Also, some individuals respond differently to different caloric balances (e.g. those with "high metabolisms") so this formula will give a starting point only and should not be taken as a rule.

    The best thing to do would be to take this “maintenance” number and eat that amount of clean calories for 1 week. At this point, you will have cleared the water weight and bloatedness out of your system and should weigh yourself.

    Then, do the same for another week, and note any changes after this second week of maintenance. If you have gained weight, then your maintenance is too high.

    If you have lost weight, then your maintenance is too low. Once you have a rough number of calories that your body maintains on, then you can start trying to add lean mass (bulking) or dropping body fat (cutting).

    Bulking
    If you are planning on adding lean mass, you want to slowly add calories so that you are eating at a caloric surplus. It is best to do this in small increments, say 200 calories a week. If after 1 week or 200 calories extra, you have gained nothing, then you could increase by another 200 for the next week.

    When bulking, you should be looking to add around 2lbs a month, so about ½lb a week. This is to minimize fat gain, and make it easier to cut once you have your extra lean mass. Any more than this, and extra, unwanted fat gain will occur.

    Cutting
    If you are planning on dropping body fat, you want to slowly decrease calories. So I would again use the 200 calories per week idea. When cutting it is best to lose no more than 1lb a week because losing too much weight will mean that your body may be dropping fat, but also lean mass, which is not what you want happening.

    Men, who have more body fat, say about 12%, are usually able to successfully lose more than 1 pound of body fat per week, but leaner people will usually risk losses in muscle mass when trying to lose excess fat at a rate faster than that.

    Macronutrients
    When talking of macronutrients, and macronutrient ratios, we are referring to proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Most foods are made up of a combination of all three macronutrients, while other foods may fall mainly into one or two of the categories. For example, chickpeas are a mix of 68% carbohydrates, 13% fat, and 19% protein, while egg whites are 6% carbohydrates, 3% fat, and 91% protein.

    Below is a little information on each and what they do:

    Protein
    Proteins are the building blocks of your body. They are involved in building repairing and replacing muscle tissue. Proteins are made up of amino acids, some of which the body produces and some of which it cannot. These are taken in by the foods that we eat. When talking about protein, an important term is nitrogen balance. This refers to protein synthesis and degradation in the body. If the body produces more than it degrades, then you have a position nitrogen balance. If it is the other way around, you have a negative nitrogen balance. In PNB, protein is retained in tissue and new muscle is added. However in NNB, muscle tissue is broken down so that the body can get the nitrogen it needs.

    Being in an anabolic state means that your body is in PNB and being in a catabolic state means you are in NNB.

    In short, if you don’t eat enough protein, your body will use your lean mass as energy and you will be short-changing yourself and your possible results.

    Carbohydrates
    Carbohydrates are essentially energy and are the source of glucose. Glucose is the simplest carbohydrate and is stored as glycogen in the muscles a liver. When doing activity, glucose is released to help you perform the said activity.

    Glucose is not only used to fuel weight training and cardio, but also to fuel most of your body’s cells, including the brain.

    Your body can make glucose from proteins, but this means breaking down muscle tissue, which is not what we want to be doing.

    When you eat carbohydrates, your stomach metabolizes them into glucose, which is then absorbed into the bloodstream. The rate at which this happens depends on the Glycemic Index. For more information on the Glycemic Index, click here

    There are 3 types of carbohydrate:

    Simple
    These are smaller molecules of sugar and are metabolized very quickly, due to the fast absorption rate. They provide quick bursts of energy. If too much is taken, our bodies will not need all of this. This means the sugars are either used to top up glycogen levels, or will be turned to body fat.

    These carbohydrates are generally hi GI, as the conversion to blood sugar is almost instant. Sugars are also found in fruit. However, due to the fibre found in fruit, the absorption is slowed down, resulting in a lower GI.

    Complex
    Also known as starch, these are also sugars, but are joined together in a chain. This means that more work is done by the body to metabolise these for absorption. This gives a lower GI. This provides a slower, longer lasting source of energy and is less likely to be turned into body fat because of this.

    Fibre
    Made up of a number of complex carbohydrates, there are 2 types of fibre; soluble and insoluble. It contains no minerals, vitamins or calories and is not digested when eaten.

    Fibre is essential for healthy bowel function; it helps to keep us regular. When fibrous foods are added to a meal they help to slow down the absorption of the other foods, which raises the metabolism.

    Fats
    Fats are very important! They are the main source of energy in the body, as per gram it has 9 calories, compared to the 4 calories of proteins and carbohydrates.

    There are two main types of fats, saturated and unsaturated. The easiest way to tell which is which, is saturated fats are solid at room temperature, whereas unsaturated are in liquid form. However this is a general rule, as almost every product will contain both types.

    Saturated fats are generally regarded as not too good for you, as they harder to break down, and have been associated with increased incidence in heart disease and elevated blood cholesterol levels when consumed in high quantities. However, saturated fats increase testosterone, which means bigger and stronger muscles.

    Unsaturated fats are the better kind to have as they are easier to break down and help you to lose stored body fat.

    Macronutrient Ratios
    Macronutrient ratios are the ratio of protein/carbs/fats that you eat. These numbers are very debatable, as many people have used many different combinations to great success.

    I prefer to not get too hung up on exact ratios. I prefer to look at what my body needs. I find it easiest to start off with protein. I have found that my best results have come with eating between 1-2g /lb of bodyweight, so for me that’s around 200-400g. The 1-2g rule is also debatable, with some people believing that you should not eat so much protein, as it will give you kidney problems. This is a myth! As long as you are drinking enough water and have good working kidneys to begin with, you will be fine. It is best to try out different amounts, but I would recommend at least 1g/lb of bodyweight.

    The next macronutrient to consider is carbs. Carbs can either be kept high or low. To begin with, I personally prefer to keep them around 1g/lb of bodyweight when cutting and 1.5g/lb of bodyweight when bulking. Some people will do more carbs and some will do less carbs but that is part of something I will say later though.

    I then make up the rest of my numbers with fats. However, just knowing these numbers and amount is not that as important as the timing of these macronutrients.

    Macronutrient Timing
    In my honest opinion, the time at which one eats each macronutrient is the most important concept to grasp. I will lay out what I believe to be a good starting place, but there are other ways of doing things.

    Protein
    This should be eaten at every meal, so that the body stays in positive nitrogen balance, as already mentioned.

    Carbohydrates
    These should be placed mostly at post workout, to restore glycogen levels. The rest should come around breakfast time and pre workout. However, this may depend on what time of day you train. For off days, I have found that I have gotten the best results with having my carbs in the first half of my meals.

    What is most important is the type of carbohydrate eaten at certain times of the day? This is a good question. High GI carbohydrates should only be taken post workout, as this is the only time in which they are useful to us. By eating high GI carbohydrates post workout, they metabolize quickly, which in turn makes your body release insulin.

    Insulin is a hormone which is released into the blood by the pancreas. It regulates blood sugar levels, by transporting the sugars into your cells. By taking in simple sugars post workout, allows your body to begin recovering quicker.

    The other carbohydrates should be in the form of starchy carbs and fibrous carbs. You would also want to remove fibre from immediately post workout, as this will slow down the digestion of any foods you take post workout.

    Fats
    Fats should be taken in the other meals, i.e. non carbohydrate meals. They should be minimized post workout, and should be present before bed, to help the PNB remain intact for longer, as fats help slow down protein absorption.

    Sample Outline
    I will now show an outline of a typical workout day for me in terms of nutrition:

    M1 (08:00) – Protein and Carbs
    M2 (11:00) – Protein and Carbs (PWO)
    M3 (13:00) – Protein and Carbs
    M4 (15:30) – Protein and Fats + Fibrous Carbs
    M5 (18:30) – Protein and Fats + Fibrous Carbs
    M6 (21:00) – Protein and Fats + Fibrous Carbs

    At M1, I have woken up about half 7. I need to get some protein in me to keep my positive nitrogen balance. I also need carbs, as my glycogen levels will be low from not having carbs since around 1pm the previous day.

    At M2, I have just finished my workout, and need to replenish glycogen stores through carbs and also protein to aid in repairing my muscles.

    M3 I am having protein and carbs again to top up my glycogen levels and again to stay in PNB.

    M4-M6, I am eating protein and fats, as I have no more exercise planned for the day. It is ok to add fibrous carbs to these meals, as they work different to the other carbs, as previously mentioned.

    If you were to workout at say 12pm, you could do something like this:

    M1 (08:00) – Protein and Carbs
    M2 (11:00) – Protein and Fats + Fibrous Carbs
    M3 (13:30) – Protein and Carbs (PWO)
    M4 (15:30) – Protein and Carbs
    M5 (18:30) – Protein and Fats + Fibrous Carbs
    M6 (21:30) – Protein and Fats + Fibrous Carbs

    Notice how I have shifted some of the meals around? I have moved a protein/fat meal to before workout, as I have already topped up my glycogen levels from breakfast, and the fats can also boost my energy. The rest is the same as the other time of training, in regards to post workout nutrition, etc.

    As I have said, there are many ways of doing things, that being one of them.

    Food!
    So you now have a basic understanding of macronutrient timing, but what should you eat to fill these macronutrient ratios?

    Here is a list of food, categorized into their macronutrient groups. N.B. some fill will fit into two groups.

    Protein
    • Chicken
    • Turkey
    • Lean Red Meat
    • Cottage Cheese
    • Salmon
    • Tuna
    • Other Fish
    • Eggs
    • Egg Whites

    Sugary Carbs
    • Dextrose

    Complex Carbs
    • Brown Rice
    • Wholegrain Pasta
    • Yams/Sweet Potato
    • Oats

    Fibrous Carbs
    • Broccoli
    • Sprouts
    • Green Beans
    • Sprouts
    • Cauliflower

    Saturated Fats
    • Red Meat

    Unsaturated Fats
    • Olive Oil
    • Nuts
    • Flax Seeds

    There are loads more; those are just the common ones.

    Sample Meal Plans

    This is something I just made up off the top of my head!

    M1: 10 egg whites, ½ cup oats, 4oz turkey breast
    M2: 50g protein powder, ½ cup oats
    M3: 6oz chicken breast, 1 cup brown rice, 1 cup broccoli
    M4: 2 whole eggs, 6oz salmon, ½ cup green beans
    M5: 50g protein powder, 2 TBSP natural peanut butter
    M6: 6oz Cottage cheese, 2TBSP natural peanut butter

    Here is another, which is what I have been eating on weight training days for the past 3 weeks of my cut.

    M1: 200g Turkey Breast, 60g Brown Rice, 50g Protein Powder
    M2: 50g Protein Powder, 60g Dextrose
    M3: 200g Turkey Breast, 100g Brown Rice
    M4: 200g Turkey Breast, 1 TBSP Olive Oil, 100g Broccoli
    M5: 140g Tuna, 1 TBSP Olive Oil, 100g Broccoli
    M6: 140g Tuna, ½ TBSP Olive Oil, 100g Broccoli

    Here is what I followed whilst bulking this year:

    M1: 8 egg whites, 50g protein powder, 100g oats
    M2: 50g protein powder, 60g dextrose
    M3: 200g turkey breast, 100g brown rice
    M4: 200g turkey breast, 100g brown rice, 100g broccoli
    M5: 200g red meat, 100g wholegrain pasta, 100g broccoli
    M6: 280g tuna, 2tbsp olive oil, 100g broccoli

    Advice

    1.) Get started ASAP. Even if you do not have the perfect plan, start. You can and should make changes as you go along. The most important thing is to start.

    2.) Make yourself a little Excel spreadsheet and write out the foods you are/will be eating. Make columns for protein, carbs, fats and calories and track what you are putting into your body.

    3.) Realize that not every meal is going to be the tastiest thing ever. It is important to see food as fuel, more than pleasure. Of course, you can indulge every so often.

    4.) Stick with it. Results do not happen overnight, they take weeks and months to start happening. Just stick with it.

    5.) Research. Search on JSF, Bodybuilding.com and the Internet for information. There is so much out there to learn.

    6.) Eliminate all the $%@# out of your diet. It won’t do you any good. This includes processed foods, sugary treats, saturated fat packed treats, McDonalds, sweets, cakes, cola etc. Save these for cheat meals.

    7.) There are websites on the internet that have databases of foods and also give you the chance to track what you are eating. These include:

    a. Fitday
    b. Nutrition Data
    c. Calorie King

    8.) Start reading food labels. Understand what is in the foods you are eating. Some if it may surprise you somewhat!

    Other
    Please bear in mind, what I have written reflects my personal experiences. There is more than one way of skinning a cat. Here are some other bits and bobs that should be included for you to read.

    Dairy
    A common question that comes up regards dairy. Is it good, is it bad? Well, I think both. Dairy includes things like milk, cottage cheese and yoghurt.

    In previous cutting stints, I have consumed milk with oats, with protein powder and with the occasional cup of coffee. I also had cottage cheese before bed for a while. I did notice that my progress stalled a bit. So, I decided to get rid off all dairy, and I broke the plateau. I found that my muscles got a bit harder and my skin tightened up a little.

    Since then, I have not had milk or cottage cheese since, and I have noticed improvements. On this cut, I have not had any dairy whatsoever, and I believe this to be my most productive cut so far. However, I think dairy can be used in a cutting diet, but as one gets further down the road, dairy should be taken out, as I believe it held me back a little.

    When bulking, it is not as important, as milk provides extra calories. Just don’t go overboard though! I’m not too hot on dairy, so you can always search on JSF or Google for more information!

    Fruit
    As with dairy, Fruit is another topic that is quite debatable. Fruit contains sugars. Now, whilst these are natural sugars, in the form of fructose, they are still extra carbohydrates, and need to be watch carefully, especially when cutting. I personally don’t eat any fruit, and get my intake of vitamins and fibre through vegetables and supplementation. Fruit can be used on a cut, I had some success with grapefruit a while back, but that got expensive. Grapefruit contains something called narinigin, which is a natural fat burner. I would suggest that if you want to include fruit in your diet, especially on a cut, you should stick to lower GI options’ grapefruit, pineapple and oranges.

    On a bulk, it is less important, so you could include a few pieces of fruit everyday. Again, research and make your own decision!

    Low Carbohydrate Diets
    A low carbohydrate diet refers to when one’s carbohydrate intake is very low. Examples of low carbohydrate diets are:

    Anabolic Diet
    Velocity Diet

    Supplements
    These are things that can be added to one’s diet to supplement real food. I will explain about some of the common ones:

    Protein Powder
    The most popular supplement is protein powder. Protein powder is used to increase ones protein intake, as it is almost impossible to get enough protein from whole food. The amount of protein powder one should take depends on a lot of things, mainly their goals and stats, and also how much money they have.

    Protein powder is generally over hyped and sometimes used too frequently in place of whole food. I generally will have a maximum of 2 shakes per day (100g total), however others may have more or less.
    The most common protein powder is made up of whey. Whey is what is left after milk has been curdled and strained. It is then ground down into a powder. There are different types of whey, each with a different absorption rate. For more information on the different types of whey click here.

    There are other protein powders, such as casein, which re-curdles once it reaches the gut, allowing a much slower absorption. This is a good product to use before bed or when you need a slower absorbing protein during the day.


    Fish Oils
    These are a very good source source of Omega 3 (comprised ofEPA and DHA) an essential fatty acid, needed by the body for general health and well being. They are also a component for every day living and are called essential as they body does not make them; which means the diet must provide them.

    Creatine
    Creatine is a compound that is made in the liver and is involved in the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is an energy source for your muscles during short, explosive periods of activity, such as weight training or high intensity cardio.

    Creatine is found in red meat and fish. However, most of this is destroyed by cooking. To get more Creatine, one can supplement with it.

    Creatine can be bought in powder or tablet form. It is debatable whether Creatine is advantageous, some say yes, some say no. I haven’t personally tried it yet, but as with anything, research the internet. Another debatable issue is the dosing of Creatine.

    Some people suggest loading up on it in large amounts for a short period of time, followed by a steady slower supply over a longer period of time. Others suggest just taking it in small amounts to begin with and continue in this fashion. Some people say to cycle it on and off, other say not. The best thing you can do is experiment.

    Generally, Creatine is used when trying to add lean mass, as Creatine in muscle attracts water. It can also be used when cutting but I have seen this less frequently.

    Creatine has some side effects; mainly bloating, as one will hold water, sometimes 5lbs of weight will be added due to the water retention of Creatine!

    Reading Material
    When I find a good article on the internet, I bookmark it in Firefox. Here are some of the good one's that I think you could benefit from. Some have been posted on this forum, others on T-Nation, BB.com and elsewhere.

    The Truth About Bulking
    Carbohydrate Cycling for Cuts
    Love your Postworkout Carbs
    Post Workout Basics - Optimising Glycogen
    The Get Shredded Diet
    Calcium
    My Guide to Nutrition for Weight Loss - marcus (JSF)
    gravityhomer's fat loss guide - gravityhomer (JSF)
    Healthy Grocery Shopping List
    High Protein Diets: Good or Bad?

    Conclusion
    I hope this guide has been/will be of use to some people. Just remember, the most important thing to do is to read and learn. Come up with a plan, post it up for critique. The JSF community is more than happy to help you, if you help yourself. :)
     
    #1 Foley, Mar 18, 2008
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2008
    John Stone likes this.
  2. user786

    user786 Active Member

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    :tu:Nice one Foley ..Lots of important info there.
     
  3. fullpen

    fullpen Active Member

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    Foley knows his stuff; this should sticky, it's concise and loaded with info.
     
  4. Jedi

    Jedi Well-Known Member

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    Great post, Foley:tu:
     
  5. guava

    guava Elite Member
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    Love the post Foley. You covered a lot of stuff that keeps getting asked over and over again.
     
    #5 guava, Mar 19, 2008
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2008
  6. woodan

    woodan Well-Known Member

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    Excellent post. This should definitely get sticky status. My diet has evolved into a near replica of the info found in that post. But for me it took a lot of time and research getting it to that state. I could have saved that time if this had been written earlier. ;)

    I think it's important to reiterate actually how important it is to plan your meals and stick to them. Only then are you armed with the information you need to make certain changes down the line based on your progress.

    EDIT: Damn, I must be a slow reader. It already has sticky status now.
     
  7. Foley

    Foley Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys. It took me quite a while to rack my brain and put this together. I will continue to add things in, cos I got some more stuff I could add to it. Keep checking back! :)
     
  8. Lo0p

    Lo0p Active Member

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    Its...The HOLY GRAIL!!! :D Nice Foley :nod:
     
  9. leftyx

    leftyx Senior Member

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    Damn David, you made me hungry. Now I have to go eat my Protein+Fats+Fibrous Carbs. Maybe I'll take a picture and post it on "Let's see what I ate for lunch" thread.

    Cheers mate.:D:lol:
     
  10. stefanjagger

    stefanjagger Active Member

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    Wow, great post as always mate. You have answered loads of questions and there's alot of wise advice.

    This should be a sticky post, great job! :tucool:
     
  11. GDIHALO

    GDIHALO Active Member

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    Your effort here is extraordinary...this is really helpful both to newbies and long termers who have gone off course on their nutrition. Thanks so much!

    :tu:
     
  12. OrangeTiger

    OrangeTiger Active Member

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    Foley!

    Awesome Job on this post!!!

    :tucool:

    (just so you know, I saved all of this to my computer for the next time I get the "I need to lose weight" from a friend/family member.)
     
    #12 OrangeTiger, Mar 25, 2008
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2008
  13. Foley

    Foley Well-Known Member

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    Good luck with that. I have already tried this on the family and they are having none of it so far. :nope:
     
  14. docutech

    docutech Active Member

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    Great post! Thank you! Very well written, simple and to the point.

    Got to sticky this one!
     
  15. Man of Courage

    Man of Courage Active Member

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    thanks! A lot of good info in there:tucool:
     
  16. OrangeTiger

    OrangeTiger Active Member

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    Yeah, I don't know why family members seem to discount advice from other family members.

    My cousin for instance was talking about losing weight the other day, and despite the fact that she was aware of my own transformation she was unwilling to accept any help from me on this point.

    Yet she buys 3 or 4 of those Richard Blank Tae-Bo Dvds...:confused:

    I'm clueless; It hurts to see loved ones fail, but I can't exactly chain her to a squat station either.
     
  17. Foley

    Foley Well-Known Member

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    Since making this guide I have come across some more stuff I can share.

    Creatine
    I have been taking creatine for the last 6 weeks, 5g during, 5g post workout. I take a standard monohydrate. I have noticed no bloating whatsoever and have found that my energy levels have been increased, which has allowed me to keep increasing strength, even whilst cutting.

    EAAs
    I have been taking these along with creatine, this time 10g during and 10g post workout. By using this supplement, I have been able to keep my muscle mass and my recovery has been excellent; I have only had DOMS once in the last 6 weeks, and that was after an extremely heavy leg session. :cool:

    Waxy Maize Starch
    I used this for a few weeks. What I found is that I got no Dextrose bloat, and most acheyness went away a lot quicker. My muscles filled out PWO and I looked big. ;)

    Fish Oils
    I have been using these with my carb meals to blunt any kind of insulin spike. Since doing this, I have not felt tired mid afternoon like I had been previously. :) Vegetables also have the same effect; broccoli being my weapon of choice.

    I'll post up more thoughts and stuff when they come to me. :)
     
  18. Foley

    Foley Well-Known Member

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    I'm currently doing more of a recomposition using the following totals:

    PRO: 322.95
    CHO: 421.38
    FAT: 34.59
    CAL: 3288.65

    I'll post up some updates in my journal and probably in here to aid the recomposition guide. :)
     
  19. ashleigh90

    ashleigh90 Active Member

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    Hi my names ashleigh and im new to this forum, to give you a little overview im almost 5'8 and about 128p. i do cardio 40min/4xwk but cant seam to tone up my belly. Im not saging by any means, but id really like to take care of the jiggle in the middle, any sugestions?

    i do:
    50 reverse crunch
    50 leg raises
    50 oblique crunch (each side)
    and use resistance bands durring leg raises

    5x a week ive been at this for almost 7 months and not a whole lots happened...
     
  20. Foley

    Foley Well-Known Member

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    Take some time to read this thread. It should get you started. Welcome to JSF.
     

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